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Kabam Studios President Andrew Sheppard Leaves for Gree

A major departure on the heels of Alibaba's $120 million investment.

Andrew Sheppard, the president of Kabam’s worldwide game studios, has left the company to join rival free-to-play gaming company Gree.

Sheppard joined Kabam in December 2009 as chief product officer and, according to his official bio, “pioneered Kabam’s unique approach of blending art and science” in game development. That blend has helped the privately held company monetize better than many competitors, reaching record revenue of $360 million in 2013.

“We are sorry to see Andrew leave Kabam, but we are pleased for him as he assumes a new role in the industry,” Steve Swasey, Kabam VP and head of global corporate communications, said. “Kabam has retained a leading global executive search firm to identify candidates for the position of president of Kabam Studios.”

Japan-based Gree reported $1.4 billion in revenue in 2013, down from $1.5 billion the year before.

The news comes on the heels of a massive investment in Kabam — yesterday, China’s Alibaba Group announced that it planned to put $120 million into the San Francisco-based studio. Highlighted in the announcement was the existence of Kabam’s studio in Beijing, one of the company’s six worldwide studios that Sheppard would have overseen.

Gree could not be reached for comment.

This article originally appeared on

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